Archive for: April, 2018

Blue Buffalo sold for 8 Billion

An $8 billion brand started in a small barn with a bunch of good people

Those who know the story of Squeaky know that one of our very first clients was SoBe Beverages. We worked closely with the creative forces behind SoBe, including the Bishop Family, John Bello and a slew of brand all-stars that included Mike Joyce, Tom Small Horn, Dave Spinato and Scott Moffit.

This team, along with so many others, created a new beverage category that paved the way for the “Red Bulls of the world” and planted the seeds of engagement for a conscious-consumer populous. At SoBe, product innovation was as important as consumer acceptance and meeting the expectations of a new market. Squeaky’s work was to utilize emerging digital technologies to foster engagement and real relationships between the brand and its audience.

After the acquisition of SoBe beverage by PepsiCo, the Bishops set their talents on an all-new mission, and Squeaky was fortunate enough to continue as their digital agency.  They recognized that there was no human-grade dog food on the market and thus set out to develop a product that was centered on great nutrition for pets and celebrated the passion of pet owners.

Driving up to their office for the first time (which was actually a barn), we had no idea those initial conversations would manifest into the Blue Buffalo brand. The focus in those early days was rooted in a commitment to making the lives of pets better and thus challenging the biggest pet food brands in the market. Their passion was to produce and bring to market better food for pets and to engage the owners who wanted more for their four-footed family members.

Squeaky worked closely with the Blue Buffalo team to identify the attributes of both the product and the audience, which manifested into Blue Buffalo’s digital strategy.  We designed and developed their very first website and community engagement initiatives, including the now-vintage Blue Buffalo Trading Cards (two of our own pets were part of the early series). We also developed an interactive matrix “True Blue Test” that provided health information about pets and animal cancer to better educate pet-owners about the well-being of their pets.

It goes without saying that the headlines of Blue Buffalo’s sale to General Mills for $8 Billion brought the biggest smile to our faces. (No – we didn’t reap any financial rewards, just pride points).

We are proud and fortunate to have worked together during the brand’s formative years; proud of the success they achieved in working on a vision tirelessly and for its impact on pet nutrition and cancer awareness; and proud of the trusted relationship we built with Blue Buffalo, as we continue to build with all of our clients. Relationships centered on innovation, good work and progression.

The phenomenal success of one of our very first clients is inspiring, as it reminds us that vision, focus and perseverance can manifest itself into a brand that becomes a market leader.

We want to send big congratulations to our friend Billy Bishop and the rest of the team at Blue Buffalo. Bravo.